This massive new bouldering comp hopes to change the sport.
It’s a blast to watch a bouldering comp at The Spot (thespotgym.com) but it’s not the kind of thing that’s going to catch on with X-Games-style mainstream crowds. But the Boulder-based gym hopes to change that paradigm with a high-profile event called The Battle in the Bubble that will take place on May 15th.
To launch bouldering into the big time, The Spot has hired big-wall builders Walltopia (walltopia.com) to create a unique 19-foot wall at the Boulder Reservoir. Set in a U-shape and dressed with stadium style seating, the wall will create a natural amphitheater. No stinky, crowded gym, the reservoir offers a beach, grassy knolls, ample parking and stunning mountain views.
Beyond the wall and the venue, The Battle also aims to be the best media-supported climbing comp in the nation. Much like the experience at a pro baseball game, a giant jumbotron will broadcast participant bios, and the comp will broadcast a live feed to gyms around the country.
“We hope that this new model and the media focus will make bouldering comps more understandable to a mainstream audience,” says spokesperson Robb Shurr of Kickstand Communications.
The comp creators have also come up with a new finals format, guaranteed to rile both the competitors and the crowd. The two finalists will go head-to-head, on side-by-side routes, essentially racing to be the first to tag the top.